Opinion

Albert Adomah: The Price of the Prince

Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Mark Jirobe (@VillaMarkPGH)

We need to have a little talk about Albert Adomah.

And no, it’s not going to be one where you’re going to walk away from it smiling.

Even though the Aston Villa winger has given us many of reasons to smile when he is in the team.

One has to start wondering if and when clubs are going to start calling Villa to see if the 29 year old is for sale, and for what price. No, I’m not saying we should write Adomah off. I’m not putting a negative worm inside of your head about Adomah, either. He is doing a damn fine job, and I truly believe that his work to get back into the starting eleven has been an indicator of how driven in his endeavours Adomah is as a person before a footballer. Alas, according to TransferMarkt.com, Adomahs’ current market valuation is 2.22 million pounds. Aston Villa purchased Adomah from Middlesborough for an undisclosed fee in August 2016, but there are rumours that the fee was in the area of 3.2 to 4.2 million pounds. In the event that the lower number is more accurate, and with the lack of transfer funds, would Villa even consider selling Adomah with two years left on his contract? First, let’s take a look at what Albert Adomah has done as a player in the Championship in his career.

So far in his career, Adomah has played 311 matches in the Championship over the span of his career. That comes with a total of 23,867 minutes of football played. For those like myself who have a problem with math, that’s 16 and a half days that Adomah has been on the pitch in the Championship. Almost as shocking is that in those 311 matches played in the Championship, Adomah has netted 51 goals and assisted on 54. Those are some pretty substantial numbers for a 29 year old in the second-division of English football. I think that if there was a club to come calling, it surely would have to be a team in the Premier League and most likely a team who is struggling a bit or lacking attacking intent. Adomah has scored 8 goals on 11 attempted shots so far this season, which in the absence of talisman striker Jonathan Kodjia, is a godsend for Villa. The only other winger in the Championship to score more goals than Adomah so far is Hull City’s 20 year old Jarrod Bowen with 9.

None of us could have ever imagined that Uncle Albert would do so well as a left-wing. He was brought in to play opposite of Jack Grealish during the brief Roberto Di Matteo era at Aston Villa. Now with Jack Grealish coming back from injury, Robert Snograss fitting rather nicely as a play-maker, and Joshua Onomah looking like Steve Bruces’ first choice as a midfield attacking option, there are surely questions to be asked. We’ve seen Grealish play on the left side of the field before, and the form of Onomah presently truncates Grealish being able to play in that attacking-mid position. Even though Onomah is only at Villa on loan, Steve Bruce isn’t the type of manager to bench a player that is doing well just because of permanent player for the club returning from injury. Robert Snodgrass is holding his own as a right winger, too. This presents a situation for Aston Villa that is worth pondering:

Should Aston Villa sell-off Adomah if there is interest to garner transfer funds to solidify the striker position, and potentially other positions?

Would it make sense financially and rationally for the Villa?

Would selling Adomah to try to get centre-back depth make sense in the upcoming window with the injury to John Terry? Are we absolutely sure Chris Samba is going to be able to carry the load well into late January if not longer?

First off to play devil’s advocate. I do not personally feel that selling Adomah should happen unless the fee agreed upon was something way over the current market value of the player. He is too valuable to the squad at the moment, even with the eventual headache Steve Bruce will have with Jack Grealish returning to full fitness. For my money, Adomah is one of the best wingers in the Championship at the moment and if Villa are to make a proper push for promotion, be it automatic or playoffs, I think Adomah is going to be a major part of the machine at Villa Park.

On the other hand, I can see why people would have an opinion to consider to sell Adomah to solidify other areas of the pitch. Villa are running with a very depleted striker core, and the centre-back position isn’t looking any prettier. With so many games coming thick and fast in the Championship, Villa absolutely need depth at those two positions exclusively. And players aren’t going to show up to play out of the blue. Steve Bruce has already said that the upcoming transfer window will see Aston Villa ‘boxing clever’. We’re all smart enough to realise that basically means, “Hey, we’ve got no funds but we’re going to try and squeeze water out of a stone like we did before the season started. Let’s hope it works out again!”

But, will it work again? Are Villa going to put stock in having one formidable striker in the form of a 19 year old Keinan Davis? What happens if James Chester rolls an ankle? Are we going to want to depend on Tommy Elphick, an out-of-position Mile Jedinak or even Micah Richards in the event he can stay healthy for more than a few days? I just don’t think that would suit Villa for what they’re trying to accomplish this season; get back to the Premier League by any means necessary.

Even if those means are selling a player who is doing fantastic to get there.

Although all of these questions are a bit uncomfortable for any Aston Villa supporter, I think they are fair to ask. Again, I don’t personally think selling Adomah is the right move for Villa at this time, but stranger things have happened. The club needs to make sure key parts of the pitch are covered in the event of more injuries. This is the Championship we are talking about after all. It is not an easy league to play in. The games come quickly, the play is very physical, and form can vanish into thin air. Whatever Aston Villa decides to do in January, the most ‘clever way to box’ would be to find a way…any way…to bolster the defensive and striker depth.
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